Showing posts from February, 2012

Radioactive Waste consultation - three weeks left

The latest phase of discussion about what we do about the long-term storage of Nuclear Waste, and whether a repository is a better solution than the present arrangements, continues for just over three weeks, until Friday 23rd March. A series of Community drop-in events have been held around Cumbria, all of which are now complete. However you can still respond and find out more online at .

Media slant on Nuclear power ...

A year ago an earthquake and tsunami hit Japan. In September Japan's National Police Agency gave the number of confirmed deaths caused by the earthquake and tsunami as 15,850 with a further 3,287 people missing. How many confirmed deaths resulted from radiation leakage or the other nuclear related accidents which the earthquake caused at the Fukushima Nuclear plant? Zero. 92.5% of the fatalities confirmed by April as a result of the earthquake and Tsunami died by drowning, including both the people who died at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Media coverage in the UK of the anniversary of the disaster centred entirely on the Fukushima plant, which might have been a legitimate story placed in context, but it seems bizarre that the way Japan is recovering from the rest of the disaster, or what the cost was in lives and money, was completely ignored. When there is a natural cataclysm which kills well over fifteen thousand people, and the press coverage is disproportionately concentrated o

Yet another metal theft post - the courts crack down

Yes, another post about beating the metal thieves. As any regular reader of this blog may well have gathered, I have strong opinions about this. Both I and two of my brothers-in-law work or have worked in industries which are particularly affected by the plague of metal theft. And since thousands of homes in West Cumbria had their telephone service cut off for a big slice of a weekend late last year, because incompetent would-be metal theives ripped out a section of fibre telephone cable near Workington in the hope that it was copper, I've felt even more strongly about it. Which is why I'm pleased to note that one of the things I called for in earlier blog posts is starting to happen - the courts are starting to hand out sentences proportionate to the damage the metal thieves could potentially cause - and where people steal cable from the railway signal networks or BT's network that can mean causing the death of innocent people - rather than the value of the metal stolen. K

Beating the metal thieves, continued

Police working to beat the metal thieves have carried out a series of raids in various parts of Britain this year, including the North, and now a series of raids in WIltshire have produced a spectacular result. Around one ton of stolen BT cable was recovered during a series of co-ordinated raids on scrap metal yards. ​Representatives of BT’s Metal Theft Task Force and 12 other agencies joined more than 100 police officers to serve warrants at dealerships in Wiltshire. Sites in Melksham, Trowbridge, Swindon and Christian Malford near Chippenham were visited during the operation. Ten people - including a 12-year-old boy - were arrested for offences including theft, handling stolen goods and burglary. Property recovered included one ton of BT cable at the Melksham yard and more stolen cable belonging to BT at the Trowbridge yard, as well as stolen beer barrels, drain covers, water valves, metal pipes and around £10,500 cash. Luke Beeson, BT Security general manager for metal theft, said

Argentina goes to UN over Falklands

I see that the government of Argentina has complained to the UN over the Falklands. Presumably, just as Galtieri's military Junta was trying to prop itself up during political difficulties when it invaded the islands, the present president is attempting to shore up her domestic political position with an equally childish appeal to the most xenophobic forms of chauvinism. I suppose we should think ourselves fortunate that this time the Argentinians are choosing forms of protest which only waste time and money rather than lives. The latest ridiculous argument is that it in some way "militarises" the islands to have sent Prince William to the Falklands on a routine posting as a navy Air Sea Rescue pilot, and to have sent a modern destroyer, HMS Dauntless, to visit them. If Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner should lose the next election, she should be able to get a job as a stand-up comedian on the basis of her accusation that the British decision to send HMS

The big freeze continues

Another day to take care if you are out and about: temperatures in Whitehaven were below freezing for most of the day yesterday and is currently (8.00 am) about four degrees below freezing according to the air temperature thermometer in my car. A two-inch thick block of ice which my daughter removed from the top of a water container yesterday morning was still lying beside it un-melted this morning, while a stick of ice, sticking up out of the water at and angle of about 45 degrees and looking for all the world like an ice sundial, had formed on the surface of the same container as the bizarre result of a very cold wind. We can only assume that the cold wind created a wave in the water and then froze the top of it, and then more water was driven to the top of the ice-stick by the wind and then froze, so that the stick of ice gradually got higher until the surface of the water was completely frozen. By this time the stick of ice was about three inches high. I have never seen anything li

The Big Freeze

Take great care if you are out and about in any part of Cumbria or many other parts of Britain today - the roads and pavements are icy. Certainly they are lethal in Whitehaven this morning which alomst certainly means that many parts of the county will be worse. Take particular care if you might be minded to do anything involving moving heavy objects outside, especially on a slope. The advice should probably be, don't! It being brown bin collection day, I have just brought our brown bin round from the back garden and up our steep drive. Despite taking great care I could very easily have injured myself, was probably foolish even to attempt it and will not be trying anything like that in these sorts of conditions again.